Stephen Brunt Video Essay for Vancouver 2010

Comments 6 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Stephen Brunt, a columnist for the Globe and Mail, put together a remarkable video essay about the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. [Update] At the time this post was published, the video couldn’t be embedded but in the months since, it has appeared on YouTube:

Brunt also penned this article about Vancouver 2010, which tugs equally at one’s heartstrings:

Robson Street“… the show got off to an unequivocally awful start. Hours before the cauldron was lit, a luger was killed during a practice run, raising questions about the safety of the state-of-the-art track built specifically for these Olympics. A technical glitch marred the climactic moment of the Opening Ceremony, and freakishly warm weather threatened to melt the Cypress Mountain venue, forcing cancellations and eventually mass ticket refunds. The much-hyped Canadian hope for a home gold medal fell short on the opening day of competition, and the opportunistic overseas press corps focused in on every glitch, pronouncing the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics a failure and an embarrassment to the host country even before they had really begun.

It would have been no surprise in those circumstances for the country to curl up in the fetal position, to experience a great national cringe: We weren’t good enough; in the big moment, we hadn’t come through; we weren’t up to the task; we should never have become involved (or spent the money) in the first place.

Robson StreetWhat happened instead were the streets of Vancouver filling with huge crowds, young, pan-ethnic, the very image of the place, decked out in national colours, patriotic gear the fashion statement of the moment, and that became the story. From across the country came reports of other gatherings, more modest naturally, and then the first television numbers, showing that unprecedented numbers of Canadians were tuning in…

…Apparently, it wasn’t all about flawless execution and it wasn’t all about winning medals and it wasn’t even all about sport. It was about providing an opportunity, a platform, an excuse, to let loose pent-up feelings of national pride, to express, without apology, with a spirit of joy, a national identity, hitting emotional notes beyond the usual touchstones of climate and geography, of politeness, tolerance, universal health care and hockey.”

The Vancouver 2010 Games were one of the highlights of my life, as a local, as a blogger, and as a spectator. I’m sure we’ll be talking about them for years to come. See you at Sochi 2014!

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6 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. AdelaideMonday, March 1st, 2010 — 11:39am PDT

    I was always proud to be Canadian, but my pride just burst during these Olympics games.

  2. Vancouver 2010 The Final Tally » Vancouver Blog Miss 604 by Rebecca BollwittMonday, March 1st, 2010 — 4:29pm PDT

    […] Stephen Brunt Video Essay for CTV […]

  3. Cathy S.Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010 — 12:58pm PDT

    Hi Miss 604
    Thanks for providing this link. I saw this on CTV and loved every second of it and am so happy to be able to see it again. Do you know what the song is that is playing towards the end?
    Thanks.

  4. Calvin PrescottWednesday, March 3rd, 2010 — 6:06am PDT

    Thank you Stephen Brunt!
    You just proved again why you are Canada’s premier sports journalist! This video essay was brilliant! In 5 minutes you have combined images, video and narrative that totally captures what we all experienced during these games. In time, I’m sure this video essay will emerge as the definitive piece that captures the true spirit of what happened during the Games. Bravo!
    Calvin Prescott

  5. WilliamsThursday, March 4th, 2010 — 10:12pm PDT

    Unreal.. enough said.
    The song at the end is “Red Heart” by Hey Rosetta. An awesome Canadian band, and a very fitting song!

  6. Cathy S.Thursday, March 18th, 2010 — 9:36am PDT

    Thank you Williams! Appreciate the response!

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